ONE POEM – William Doreski

Dried for sale, sea stars remind you
that we haven’t seen the Atlantic 
breathing heavily along a beach
for a couple of plague-struck years.

Navigating Goodbye – Tyler Plofker

The party is winding down and it’s time to make your exit. You stand in the living room mentally preparing for the torrent of goodbyes you’re now socially obligated to initiate. It is Christmas Eve.

Reading Heat-Moon in Nicaragua – William Fleeson

For a dusty Central American beach town, San Juan del Sur has a ton of history. The former fishing village once offered passage to Forty-Niners on their way from the US east coast to California. Cornelius Vanderbilt grew his fortune by running a waterborne transit line for that gold rush: faster than overland travel, the…

FLASH FICTION – Edvige Guinta

I told no one. Not my parents, not my older sister, not my little brother. I locked myself in the bathroom while my mother stirred tomato sauce and tasted spaghetti (we did not like al dente).

The Trials and Tribulations of Route 17 – Zahira P. Latif

I stood at the bus stop, waiting for the number 17 into Birmingham city centre. I had been waiting for over 20 minutes, and the queue at the stop had now built up to well over 20 people. I can drive, but car ownership had lost its appeal. I was tired of having to cart…

My One of The Kind Relationship to Chinese Food – Chris Liberato

Before I became a more adventurous eater in my late twenties, my appreciation for traditional Asian food consisted of the bowls of phở that my friends would seek out when we visited Boston. I was fascinated in particular with how my chef friend Charlie approached his noodles: requesting his steak served raw on a side…

ONE POEM – Susan Calvillo

goat cheese cannoli with garden gem tomatoes & a floral salad
a hot croquette with apple compote, pumpernickel, & sherbet
blackberry compote on a throne of chocolate mousse
a slice of seasonal pumpkin spice cake
all go to waste

Mick Jagger Used to Call Me Mum – Jacqueline Ellis

When I was little, the dark staircase between the front and back rooms of my grandparents’ two-up, two-down terrace house had been a mountain. Each step a jagged, granite foothold; the shadowed landing a dark cloud hiding a kingdom of giants, or a castle encased in twisted branches. Their bedroom glowed yellow; the edges of…

Beowulf: You Know More Than You Think! – Danny Bate

As a living soul of the twenty-first century, if you take a glance at the opening lines of Beowulf, the Old English poem, the chances are that you won’t be able to understand it. If anything, you may perhaps recognise its famous first word, hƿæt. This is absolutely fine, I should add; Old English is an old…

ART – Manon Parry 

‘a visual stream of consciousness where your imaginary and erratic thoughts come to life.’

ONE POEM — Louise McStravick

We look up to her, I’ll teach you how
it works she says to the ram’s head, the birds eye
her mouth devouring snake heads

Acknowledging the River – Natalie Timmerman

“Everyone has anxiety.” “Be thankful for what you do have.” “Others have it worse.” When I sunk chin-deep into my anxiety, when I waded through life with a churning stomach, pale skin, and clenched jaw, these phrases thickened the current; they made the wading harder. Sure, they varied in words, tones, and intentions, but they…

Oysters – Lynne Golodner

The oysters arrived on a paper plate, craggy half-shells pooling ocean brine. A server slung a basket of napkins, vinegar and cocktail sauce on the table. Dan lifted a shell and slurped. I forked one and bit into the softness, closing my eyes. I breathed in through my nose to taste more fully. These were…

The Unbearable Brightness of Being – Laura Swan

I’ve taken photography up again for the sake of my fictional avatar. She’s about to start university in Dublin and, unbeknownst to her, she will buy a camera in her second term in an attempt to digest, dissect, and process the world around her – a world that has become intensely disorientating, a world she…

COMFORT FOODS // Reheating Leftovers – Bojana Stojcic

Reheating Leftovers And there you wereletting the world know you’d betemporarily unavailableagainthinking, All I can do now iswait for the clocks to tickhalf past six because thenthe door is opened andstays open untilthe blood has been takenout of the bodiesgiven a brief stirput back in or your hate of the present brings you to the…

Right There — Lily Blacksell

‘Your place or mine?’ he typed, adding then deleting a winky face and pressing send.
 
‘Neither,’ she replied very quickly, adding ‘obviously.’

Growing Young – Eve Davies

If there’s one thing one can observe in a residential care home, it is the necessity of humour throughout life. It is true that the human body ages in a cycle. Through life we travel the circumference of a circle. We begin a reliant baby, we start to learn, we grow up, become an adult,…

ONE POEM – Emma Wells

a cheeping beak breaks forth
scenting balmy air:
swirls of hyacinths waft
in warm, hour-less days –

Frickin’ Lion – Ann Kathryn Kelly

Olive the (lion) dog. Image by Andrea Farrow, via Instagram The mane streams behind the dog as it tears across weathered gray floorboards. “Frickin’ lion.” The seven-second Instagram reel auto-loops on my Thursday lunch hour and I become obsessed with this dog that I later find out belongs to my colleague Jessica’s sister, Andrea. I…

Umbrology – Brian McNely

I stepped off the plane in Helsinki – airport code HEL – and found a restroom. Standing at a urinal, I heard birdsong piped through overhead speakers: odd, soothing, out of place. The train to downtown Helsinki departs from a giant, cool tunnel many meters below street level. The platform is nearly empty. Massive faux-tapestries…

Two Cultures, Again – Kate Venables

I am a student in a creative writing programme, a mature student, from a professional background as an epidemiologist. Amongst ourselves, we students don’t really talk about ‘creativity’. We talk a lot about craft and sometimes we talk about ourselves and the way in which how we feel affects our writing. But rarely about ‘creativity’…

Dances with Rabbits – Walker Thomas

I stood under the alligator juniper that shaded my tent in the oak woods. Effie squatted between my feet. In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade called his receptionist Effie. But the Effie at my feet was no lady. I called her F. E. Cottontail in my journals. Cottontails are coprophagous – literally, Fecal Eating. That…

Missing Woman – Katie Hunter

In early October 2020, my partner Greg and I drove at sunrise to Zion National Park in southern Utah. On the way I swigged coffee and snapped photos of sandstone cliffs dip-dyed red by the sun. They dwarfed what I’d imagined while planning our pandemic-adapted vacation – a national park tour via road trip, starting…